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WATERFALLS & SUNSETS Series - Raven Cliff Falls & Wildcat Mtn Sunset

The Basics:
Event Type:Hike
Event Location: Near Helen, Ga
Date(s) & Time:Sat, Jan 30 2016  1:45 pm >> Sat, Jan 30 2016 6:30 pm  (Carpool Departure: 11:45 am   *log in for location*)
Registration Opens: Tue, Jan 26 2016 8:08 pm
Registration Cut Off: Fri, Jan 29 2016 6:42 pm
Event Duration:4 Hours 45 Minutes
Difficulty Rating:D4: Moderate to Difficult (Exploratory)
Distance:6.5 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
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Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:10
Minimum Group Size:4
Number Registered So Far: 12 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No

Note: This is an "EXPLORATORY" trip. This means that there are parts of this trip, or perhaps the whole trip, that is new to your Trip Leader(s). However, they are confident that this will not be an issue.
This note is here so that you can make an informed decision. When a Trip Leader isn't personally familiar with a trip, there is an increased chance of things not going as planned and you need to be prepared. The Trip Leader may have additional details in the itinerary.


Raven Cliff Falls with Sunset from Wildcat Mountain

"Waterfalls and Sunsets" is a series I began in 2012 to combine two of my favorite things to admire in nature.  Each event in the series highlights anywhere from one to five waterfalls and then will polish off the day with a sunset viewing from a great location.  To make the most, the series requires coordination with mother nature's plans, so these typically won't be posted more than 4 or 5 days in advance.

Note: This hike will have about 1 mile of off-trail hiking up some very steep and rugged terrain. see below...

The Falls:

Raven Cliff Falls is one of the most popular hikes in Georgia… and for good reason.  Raven Cliff Falls is formed by Dodd Creek, a modest size mountain stream known as one of the most beautiful in northern Georgia.  The falls consists of three drops, a 60-foot drop, followed by a 20-foot drop into a deep pool, followed by a cascade of 20 feet to Dodd Creek. The waterfall is an unusual double cascade flowing down through a fissure in a massive granite outcrop. These gorgeous falls cascade down through Raven cliff – literally slicing the massive cliff in half before cascading down through several lower falls below the cliff.  This hike has a truly rewarding waterfall at the end, but while following a rushing creek through beautiful forest, gives views of six other impressive waterfalls along the way.  Short cascades and riplets of whitewater produce a relaxing gurgle during a significant portion of the hike.

After reaching the falls and taking some time for snacks and photos, we will climb a 'root trail' to the top of the falls where we will have some great views from the top of the cliffs. We'll also see another 10 foot waterfall at the top of the cliffs (which can't be seen from below).

After enjoying the views from the top of the cliffs, we'll scramble over the creek, around some rocks, and begin our off-trail journey uphill to the Whitley Gap shelter. I have not taken this particular route from the top of the falls to the shelter, so this is the one short section that will be exploratory... we'll all get to experience some new terrain together on our 1 mile, 800 ft ascent to the top.

The Sunset:

Wildcat Mountain is a 3,700’ mountain ridge which has cliffs that provide spectacular views all the way from SSE to NW - it will be an awesome spot to watch the sun set.

We will eat our dinner, snacks, or whatever you want to bring while we hang out and watch the sunset - which will be at 6:05 PM.  We will stay long enough to see the fading colors of twilight before heading up the relatively flat trail the last half mile to the parking area. This part of the hike will be in the dark, so be sure to bring a headlamp or flashlight.


The total distance of the hike will be about 6.5 miles and total ascent about 1,800'.

NOTE: nearly half of the ascent on this hike will occur in a 1.25 mile section of off-trail hiking up very steep, and possibly technical, terrain. This isn't for those who are faint of heart or for those who do not have a sense of adventure. We also need to stay on schedule, because the sun doesn't wait for us to arrive before it sets.  So anyone signing up for this event should have previous D4 hiking experience and the trip leader reserves the right to remove anyone they don't feel is prepared for this hike.


Required Items to Bring:
  • Sturdy hiking shoes/boots (cross-trainer type shoes are not recommended)
  • Food & snacks
  • Water or sports drink (2+ liters recommended)
  • Headlamp and/or Flashlight
  • Layered clothing to keep you comfortable.
  • Cash for your carpool driver
  • A flexible mindset, good attitute, and sense of adventure
Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.
  • Camera
  • Binoculars

How to Get There:
Carpool to Event Distance (round trip):140Mile(s)
Carpool Departure Time: 11:45 am
Carpool Location:   Log in for location
Carpool Directions:   Log in for directions
Carpool Cost: Estimated cost per vehicle for this event is $56.00 using a reimbursement rate guideline of $0.400 per mile. The total amount should be divided by the number of people in the vehicle, including the driver. This is a guideline, not a rule, for drivers but the cost should not be higher unless there are extenuating circumstances.


There is a short 4.5 mile car shuttle on this hike.

* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.